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Subsea

AquaComms Closes Financing for Transatlantic Cable

LONDON, UK -- AquaComms Limited (AquaComms), a provider of scalable, subsea capacity-based network solutions, has announced that is has reached financial close and brought its contract into force with TE SubCom, which has begun delivery of the America Europe Connect (AEConnect) subsea cable system. AEConnect is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) in December 2015, as the latest transatlantic subsea fibre optic cable system connecting North America to Europe with unprecedented capacity, and Microsoft as a confirmed client.

AquaComms’ initial project investment is expected to be $300 million with Nomura funding the debt offering. AquaComms partnered with Fius Capital Limited serving as financial advisor; Redwood Capital Group provided sector and US specific advisory, with Mint Partners serving as the placement agent. This investment focuses on creating a high-speed data connection between New York and London including a 5,400 km subsea cable between Long Island and Killala, Co. Mayo. The system will provide the next generation of connectivity to the UK and Europe utilizing AquaComm’s existing CeltixConnect cable system. AEConnect will facilitate the low latency connectivity and bandwidth requirements of its customers: cloud-based networks, content providers and global data centres. The cable utilises the latest optical technologies to provide the most advanced transatlantic subsea telecommunications system, coupled with a control plane based on innovative Software-Defined Networking (SDN) technologies to serve bandwidth-intensive applications. AEConnect features the latest technology of 130 Gbps x 100 Gbps per fibre pair.

“AquaComms’ strategy is to build and operate a diversified, solution-based network, providing term and peak capacity product offerings, and working in partnership with its contractors, equipment suppliers, backhaul network providers and customers to support the US and Europe’s expanding data requirements of today and for tomorrow, ultimately offering ‘infrastructure-as-a-service’” says Greg Varisco, COO of AquaComms. "AEConnect is currently being constructed using state-of-the-art technology, with 100G-coherent design for low latency, reliable delivery for even the most bandwidth-hungry applications and direct data centre-to-data centre connectivity across the Atlantic."

By substantially increasing Ireland’s transatlantic bandwidth capacity, AEConnect will future-proof Ireland’s ability to service the growth in data-intensive businesses investing there as well as help to distribute the opportunity to rural areas. Killala was chosen for the landing of the cable due to its unique seabed topography allowing for the shortest possible route as it travels from New York and overland to Dublin and onward to the UK. The region and other areas along the overland route are seen as prime locations for content data centres, which will be AquaComms’ key market.

The manufacture and laying of the fibre optic cable will be completed by December 2015 with the first transmission of live data expected in the first quarter of 2016.

Welcoming the announcement, Taoiseach Enda Kenny promised the full cooperation of Government and all State Agencies in ensuring that this key project, which is of national strategic importance, is completed on schedule saying, “This is an important step in making Ireland the best small country in the world in which to do business.”

Aqua Comms

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